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Children’s Dental Health Month: How to Care For Your Baby’s Teeth

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Children’s Dental Health Month: How to Care For Your Baby’s Teeth

childrens-dental-health-month-how-to-care-for-your-babys-teeth

We want the best for our children and we know you do too. Taking care of their baby teeth is one of many important tasks you have when raising your children. February has marked the annual Children’s Dental Health Month, a month dedicated to teaching you how to properly take care of your child’s mouth. Believe it or not, cavities are one of the most chronic diseases of childhood in the United States, according to the CDC. What can you do to help keep your children’s teeth healthy? Thankfully, a lot!

Children’s Primary Teeth

These teeth, also known as baby teeth, begin appearing when the child is anywhere from 6 months to 1 year old. By the time the child turns 3, they will typically have a full set of baby teeth, coming in at about 20 in total. Everyone is different, so don’t worry if your child’s timeline is appearing to be different than this or someone else’s.

Baby teeth help your child begin to eat solid foods and talk. They are also placeholders, in a sense, because they hold a spot for the permanent teeth to come in eventually.

How to Care For Baby Teeth

It’s important to care for your baby’s teeth as soon as they start coming in. The American Dental Association gives these tips for caring for their baby teeth:

  • Start cleaning their mouth when they’re born by gently wiping their gums clean with a washcloth. Once teeth come in, children are immediately at risk for tooth decay. Most people will see their baby’s front teeth come in around 6 months old, but sometimes they don’t come in until they’re about 14 months old.
  • For children who are younger than 3, brush their teeth when the teeth come in. You should also consider using a fluoride toothpaste that’s rice-sized twice daily. Your dentist will instruct you just what to do, this is just a general suggestion.
  • From ages 3 years to 6, up the use of fluoride toothpaste to pea-sized, still brushing the teeth twice daily. You can begin to let your child attempt this on their own, but make sure to continue supervising so you know they’re brushing correctly and not swallowing toothpaste.

When Should Children See the Dentist

You should bring your child into Mountain Aire Dentistry as soon as they get their first tooth or when they turn 1. We recommend whichever happens sooner. Bringing them to the dentist early on will help make sure that they’re mouth is developing properly. It will also help ease their fears so they’re not too scared of the dentist in the future. It’s critical for their future oral health to make sure they don’t develop potentially harmful dental problems like tooth decay and premature tooth loss.

Common Dental Problems in Children

Even though they’re little, the dental problems in children can be mighty. It might be strange to think about children being able to develop substantial dental problems, but unfortunately they happen. To make you more aware, here are the most common dental issues seen in children:

  • Baby bottle tooth decay – this happens when a baby’s teeth are in consistent contact with sugars from things like milk and juice. Bacteria feeds on sugar, which makes children susceptible from an early age. This can be painful and make it hard for them to eat and talk. If baby teeth are lost prematurely due to this, it can also cause problems when the adult teeth begin coming in later on.
  • Cavities – a lot like baby bottle tooth decay, children can also get cavities. The CDC states that 20% of children will have at least one untreated decayed tooth from ages 5 to 11. Cavities are preventable, thankfully, by using fluoride. Fluoride can be in tap water found in communities with tap water fluoridation, and by using fluoride toothpastes.
  • Thumb sucking – many children suck on their thumbs because it helps comfort them when they’re nervous, homesick, or feeling other similar feelings. However, if the thumb sucking continues after their toddler years end, dental problems can occur. This can shift the alignment of teeth and cause bite and jaw problems.

These are just some of the problems children can have while they’re young, but the effects of these problems can affect them well into adulthood. Be sure you’re giving your children’s future dental health a fair shot by strictly overseeing their dental care while they’re young.

Make an Appointment

If your child is ready for their first appointment, or if they need a check up, make an appointment to stop in and see us. Our team at Mountain Aire Dentistry is dedicated to doing everything possible to improve the oral health of you and your family all year round, not just during Children’s Dental Health Month. To reach a smile that’s healthy, bring your children in! Call us today: (303)-731-7755.